Interview: Anne Haskett from Woods Apothecary

Today we're interviewing the amazing Anne Haskett, the founder of Woods Apothecary, and a Forrest yoga teacher and doula based out of San Francisco. Anne has been practicing yoga for over 10 years, and is also studying to become a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. Her company, Woods Apothecary, is exploding in popularity, for good reason! Her elegant products are effective remedies for active women, and her skin care and yoga mat spray are a dream. Her products have been featured by Free People, and she's currently a runner up for a Whole Foods Small Producers Grant. You can vote for her here!

I've always been amazed by Anne's uncompromising ability to live a multi-passionate life, while taking really great care of herself and creating brilliant experiences for women, whether through her high-quality physical products, or her services as a yoga teacher or doula. I'm constantly learning from her!

So, without further ado, I'll let Anne take it away.

10 years ago, how would you have imagined your life right now? How is your reality different now?
10 years ago! I have no idea what I was thinking 10 years ago. I probably wanted to be a feminist art therapist, or was shuddering at the idea of choosing a career. I was not even that excited about college. But now, looking back on who I was 10 years ago, I would say that I have made a complete turn. I feel driven and excited about my career as owner and maker of Woods Apothecary, alongside becoming an acupuncturist.

What inspired you to start your own business? What was your greatest fear getting started? What is your greatest hope?
As a young adult, I wasn't sure what to do with my future, but I have always been inspired and constantly coming up with new ideas. Every job I would get, it was a struggle for me to work under someone. I always wanted to be an equal.

When I started teaching yoga, I realized how good it felt to make my own schedule and run my own show. At some point the light bulb went off. I understood that in order to fulfill my dreams and my spirit, I needed to work for myself.

The fear of working for yourself is the uncertainty of it all. I know that all small business owners share the same feeling of "I know I think this is awesome, but what if it doesn't work"? And, no one likes the possibility of losing a big chunk of money either.

When I look back on all of the jobs I have had, my path seems so clear to me. Little did I know, but each time I chose a new position, I was always working for small business owners. I learned an insurmountable wealth of knowledge while I was fixing skateboards, selling coffee at the farmers market, working the front desk at a yoga studio, and tending gardens. I used to think that I was just a person who worked whatever odd job came my way. But, now I see that it was all in preparation to have a small business of my own.

My ultimate hope is to help, educate, and empower as many people as I can. The core of my mission is to educate people to take care of themselves with the highest quality of attention, so that they can be free of stress and feel good inside and out.

What do you enjoy most about your work creating beautiful products?

I love brainstorming, experimenting, making, and exploring awesome products. For a hot minute, I thought that I wanted to be a professional pastry chef. Mixing, smelling, touching, and watching food change and grow as you create a dish or a dessert is so fulfilling. It incorporates all of the senses. It challenges you to learn a craft. When I create Woods Apothecary products, I feel this similar rush of connectedness, almost like a meditative sensation. All of my senses are heightened, and it's just me, thriving in my element of creative fluidity. It motivates me to be present.

I dove in to all natural skincare years ago, when I was struggling with blemished skin. Learning about essential oils and plant medicine was one of the most helpful lessons for me. When I started making my own face wash and using my own yoga mat spray I felt so happy with the results. I gave out Woods Apothecary (a family name that was my grandmothers) for holidays and celebrations. My family and friends loved the products so much. They are the ones who inspired me to continue on towards making a business out of it.

What has influenced your work the most?

My yoga practice! Right now, Woods is solely a yoga-lifestyle line, made up of three core products to support you as a yogi. Of course, anyone can use them and find purpose in each product other than for yoga. But, as a yoga teacher I noticed a need from my students in terms of self-care and natural products. We practice on these rubber mats that are ridden with bacteria. I mean, if you really think about what's on the rental mats! Ew.

Most teachers are not implementing the importance of how to take care of your skin and body after class. All yogis should wash their mats, exfoliate (we spend a lot of time rolling around on the ground and getting sweaty),  and soak their muscles to prevent soreness. This practice is so much more enjoyable when you know the tricks of the trade. I am simply providing tools for self-care.

Who are your favorite role models and inspirations? 

My late grandmother, Laura May Woods. She whole-heartedly taught me how to be the most excellent version of myself. She founded her own business, Woods Feed Store back in a time where it was rare for women to run or own a business. She ran that store with integrity and grace. Every time I hear another story about her, I am more impressed. I recently found out that she used to order 50 lb. bags of feed instead of 100lb. bags so that she could do all of the heavy lifting. I mean, this woman could do and definitely did anything she put her mind to.  Before she was a feed store owner and farmer, she designed and sewed wedding dresses...from scratch. Her level of craft-womanship bewilders me. I love her so much and aspire to be as sassy and strong as she was.

If your soul could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

Easy: Follow Your Heart.

Simply put, the heart always wins. Allow your heart to be your guide.

10 years from now, what do you hope to be doing?

In 10 years, I would be delighted to be doing pretty much the same thing that I do now. Yoga Teacher, Woods Apothecary, and acupuncturist make the perfect career for me. I know it sounds like a lot. But, I couldn't imagine living my life any other way. Each of these businesses fulfill me in a  different and enchanting way. Oh, and in 10 years I would really like to be experiencing motherhood. I love the babies.

Yes! If you're interested in Woods Apothecary, check out the website here. And please vote for her line of goods to receive a Whole Foods small producer grant! Here's the link - it only takes a few seconds, and would really support her amazing work. Thank you!